The Future of Industrial Automation Solutions

Automation is a milestone through which the industrial progress finds expression in every sector, in order to guarantee greater efficiency and ensure the implementation of all the technological innovations in the production field.
We have seen more and more automation components become increasingly intelligent, able to offer new functionalities and to better interpret new application needs, always keeping in mind the cost / benefit ratio. The electric drives are among these – initially considered trivial muscles of an automatic machine along with the motors, but over time they have improved dynamic performance and integrated the motion control highest level functions. Industry 4.0 expresses its essence when production equipment can make use of operating instructions derived from information that intelligent products, such as drives and control systems, makes available to the higher logics. In recent years the strengthening of technologies, such as the spread of industrial Ethernet, has allowed a more open communication, improving and facilitating Machine-to-Machine (M2M) integration, information accessibility and remote diagnostics.
Electric drives are often connected to determinant sensors for process control, they can process data on operation readings and contribute to monitoring and optimizing energy consumption. The great availability of these data is at the base of the flexibility required by Industry 4.0, able to adapt to the different production needs in real time and to respond dynamically to new orders, ensuring preventive maintenance processes and a reduced TCO. So in the next few years the critical success factors of the solutions for industrial automation will surely be linked not only to the ability to collect data, but also to the ability to convert them into useful information to be structured in order to manage the interaction between machine, production and control. Finally, the intelligence present on devices, such as electric drives, can also be exploited to store and process considerable amounts of data, turning those that were simply muscles into small minds capable of competing to make localized decisions for processes optimization.